Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Midnight/Dawn walk

So, we're still a little jet lagged and our body clocks are off.... after our long & slightly sleep deprived travels, we were hoping that by putting off going to bed until about 9pm, we would sleep well through the night.... but Orhan woke up about 12:15 am, I woke up about 2 ish and then Mehmed woke up at 3 am. We were all wide awake, still trying to adjust our bodies to a change in time zones... ironically, 3 am is about 8pm Canada time so technically, we were waking up as we should have been winding down in Canada but I guess that's how it is when you are travelling.

We were all wide awake, with really nothing to do in the hotel room except watch Turkish TV, so we decided to go for a walk and wait for the Dawn prayer at the Blue Mosque. It was great. The streets were almost empty. It is nothing like the busy-ness of downtown Toronto which is basically 24/7. We could walk on the cobblestone streets, and only move aside once in a while when a car came, which you could hear a LONG time before because it was so silent. It was a much more enjoyable walk than earlier in the day because it was easier to let Mehmed run free without worrying about him running into traffic, hurting himself or disappearing in a crowd.
We were able to drink in the fact that we're here in Istanbul and enjoy that a little bit.
(The mosque in this picture is the Blue Mosque - this was the view of it as we walked up the street from our hotel, the birds were flying all over it and Aya Sofia, but nowhere else).

There were a few people out here and there, a few garbage men cleaning up, some shopkeepers taking care of their shops, one or two Tea Gardens with a few patrons, but other than that, extremely peaceful.

We wandered around, Orhan took lots of pictures, & we met a very friendly (but possibly a little bit crazy) Turkish guy talking with a Sudanese guy. Orhan found him very entertaining - he predicted that Mehmed would marry a Turkish woman from Denmark and that I would have 2 sets of twins. LOL. Highly unlikely. He did correctly guess that have problems in that department, but that's not usually rocket science - you see a slightly older couple with only one young kid, it's out of place - plus infertility issues are as common in Turkey as they are everywhere else these days. Anyways, we had some Turkish coffee with the two of them and we petted a poor little kitten living in around the Tea Garden. It seemed to have an eye infection, and was happy to have a warm lap to snuggle into.

It purred when the Azaan went off (the Call to prayer) even though it had been snuggled happily in my lap for a long time before that without purring, and it cried when I put it down. The cats around here break my heart. There's so many and they're all wild. People just feed them scraps of food, or they pick from the garbage.
This picture is so small, you can't see, but there are actually 5 cats in it, all of them were rummaging in this garbage pile (which was picked up by the time we got back to the hotel 3 hours later).

The prayer in the Blue Mosque was also really nice. It's hardly at all crowded at that time of day and it's so quiet. Mehmed was running free while we waited for the Imam to lead the prayer, but it wasn't bothersome like at a busier time of the day. He also lined up with the men and followed along nicely during the prayer. I found it much more peaceful than yesterday, and I even realized that amidst our fatigue and worries, I had forgotten to look UP when I went in there to pray yesterday. Well I did this morning and wow... The architecture and art are just as magnificent to behold as they were the last time I was here.

Orhan got lots of pictures as we slowly walked back to the hotel. I have to say it's probably the best time of the day here. Nobody is up, and you can enjoy the sights & sounds in absolute peace.

1 comment:

  1. Love the pictures .. but i have to object slightly older couple I think not!! I'm older then you and I'm a young chick hehe. Glad your having so much fun keep the post coming I want to read and see it all.